Tip of the month is breathing exercises. Your body needs oxygen to live. As humans, we get oxygen by breathing through our mouths and nose. We can also use our breath to help with all kinds of physical and emotional issues. Breathing exercises can help put your body in a relaxed state. When your body is relaxed, your brain becomes more relaxed. This may help reduce stress or anxiety, increase energy, lower blood pressure, improve lung function, aid digestion, and so much more.
Got 5 minutes to spare? VeryWell Mind gives 8 different deep breathing exercises for anxiety. I’ve picked my favorite 3 for you to try*.
Pursed lip breathing
This is an intentional breathing technique that forces you to slow down. It can also be useful during certain activities like lifting or stair climbing.
• Firstly, find a comfortable seat and relax your neck and shoulders
• Keeping your mouth closed, inhale slowly through your nose for 2-3 counts
• Then, pucker your lips as if you were giving a kiss
• Lastly, exhale slowly, keeping your breath slow and steady, for 4 counts
This technique is an energizing breathing practice that can help relax muscles in your chest and face, relieves stress, and improves cardiovascular function.
• To begin, sit in a comfortable position and press your palms against your knees
• Then, inhale deeply through your nose
• Open your mouth wide and stick our your tongue down towards your chin
• At the end, exhale through your mouth making a long ‘ha’ sound
• Do this breath 2 to 3 times
Humming Bee Breath
This technique helps create instant calmness. It can be used to relieve frustration, anxiety, or anger.
• To start, sit in a comfortable chair or on the floor
• Close your eyes and relax your face
• Place your first fingers on the tragus cartilage that partially covers your ear
• Then, inhale deeply
• Gently press your fingers into the cartilage while slowly exhaling
• As you exhale, make a loud humming noise with your mouth shut
• Continue as many times as needed
* Disclaimer: If you have any respiratory issues, please talk to your doctor before trying any of these breathing exercises.